FAQs

Department of Cottage and Small Industry FAQs

1.What is a Business Plan?

As they say, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. You do not need to create a complete and complex business plan at the start. However, when you need to convey your business ideas and models to others – lenders, investors and potential partners, you may need a formal business plan. If you are unsure, you can seek help from friends, consultant or approach a relevant government agency such as the Department of Cottage and Small Industry or the Regional Trade and Industry Offices.

2.What is the first step towards starting my own business?

You must have a good business idea. Ideally your business should be in an industry you have knowledge about and it should involve something you do better than anyone else. Your business should reflect your strengths and goals. Above all, it should be something you are passionate about and is something that fills an opportunity gap you have identified. You should then prepare a proper business plan.

3.Am I eligible to own and operate an industry?

Any Bhutanese who is 18 years of age and above can legally own and operate an industry. An industry can be a factory that produces and manufactures goods or an entity that provides essential services. Retailing and wholesaling of goods is not considered an industry.

4.Do I need a business license to start an industry?

Yes, you are required to obtain an industrial license from the Regional Trade & Industry Office, for all types of industry. The exception to this is entertainment related business, for which, you will have to approach the Bhutan InfoCom and Media Authority (BICMA).

5.How do I know what documents and clearances are pre-requisites?

Please visit the nearest Regional Trade and Industry Office, Regional Bhutan Chamber of Commerce & Industry Office or the Department of Cottage & Small Industry. Any officer there will be able to advice you on what are documents and/ or clearances are required. Some industry may require clearances from other agencies such as the National Environment Commission, Bhutan Agriculture & Food Regulatory Authority or Drug Regulatory Authority.

6.After getting all the clearances, what documents do I need to produce to get the industrial license from the Regional Trade & Industry Office?

You must produce the following documents when visiting the RTIO. All RTIO operates on government timing.

  1. Filled Application for Industrial License (Form III), with endorsement from the concerned Dzongkhag or Municipal Authority. (This form can be downloaded from the website: www.moea.gov.bt)
  2. Original Citizenship Identity Card
  3. Two copies of recently taken passport sized photographs
  4. A legal stamp
  5. A valid Security Clearance Certificate.
  6. Copy of clearance(s) from the concerned sector(s) – if required by law
  7. Printed as well as a soft copy of the business plan

7.How long does it take to get my industry license?

If all the required documents and clearances are submitted, the license will be issued within a working day.

8.What is the cost of getting an industry license?

The cost of the license will depend on whether your industry is cottage-scale or small-scale. If it is a small-scale, you will pay a sum of Nu. 3,100; and if it is a cottage-scale, you will pay Nu. 1,600.

9.What is the difference between a cottage-scale or a small-scale industry in Bhutan?

The Ministry of Economic Affairs defines cottage–scale as those industries, whose initial investment is less than Nu. 1m and employing up to 4 people; and small-scale as those undertakings employing up to 19 people with an investment ranging from Nu. 1 to 10 m.

10.What the types of Industrial activities are allowed in the country?

All types of business activities are allowed in the country with the exception of the following;

  1. Activities that violate any relevant laws of the country,
  2. Activities that threaten national security and public order,
  3. Activities that has harmful effects on public health, environment and Bhutanese morals and culture,
  4. Arms, ammunition’s and explosives,
  5. Production of hazardous chemicals,
  6. Activities based on imported waste,
  7. Production, display and sale of pornographic materials,
  8. Gambling and betting,
  9. Tobacco and tobacco based products

11.Are there other incentives government provides to help cottage and small industries?

The government provides many fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to cottage and small industries; like tax holiday for certain number of years, import duty exemption on equipment’s, preferential buying by government and focused entrepreneurship training and extension support

12.If I have a good industry idea and do not have land, what type of support do I get from the government?

Depending on the priority of an industry, its viability and location, you may be able to lease government forest reserved land or government land for a fixed period. Depending on the availability, you could also apply for plots in one of the existing industrial estates and service centers.

DoIP FAQs (Trademark)

1.What is a Trademark?

The term trademark is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks. Trademark means any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of an enterprise.

A trademark can be a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods and services of one party from those of others.

2.What is a Collective mark?

A collective mark is used by members of a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization to identify their goods or services and to distinguish such members’ goods or services from the goods or services of non-members.

3.What do symbols TM and ® stands for?

The symbol TM is used as a cautionary notice to claim an unregistered or pending trademark. The symbol ® is used to provide notice that the trademark has been registered with a national trademark office. The proper manner to display these symbols is immediately following the mark, and is commonly in superscript style.

4.What are the functions of trademark?

  • Identifies source of goods and services.
  • Signifies that the goods bearing a particular trademark come from one source.
  • Indicates a particular standard of quality.
  • Facilitate marketing of goods through advertising and sales.
  • Symbolizes the goodwill of the owner of the mark.
  • Protects the public from confusion and deception.
  • Adds value to business.

4.Why should a trademark be registered?

Although registration of trademark is not compulsory, registration would provide trademark owner(s) the following advantages:

  • Certificate of registration can be used as a prima facie evidence in the event of litigation.
  • Registered trademark will appear in search reports of the office, discouraging others from proceeding with the registration of the same or similar trademark.
  • Provide basis for registering in other countries.
  • Owner(s) obtains the right to put symbol ® in a trademark, alerting others to the registration and preventing the defense of innocent infringement.
  • Provides official notice to others that a trademark is already taken; consequently, a company that later adopts a confusingly similar trademark cannot claim ignorance of it.

DoIP FAQs (Copyright & Related Rights)

1.What is Copyright?

Copyright is a branch of Intellectual Property which grants exclusive legal protection to authors, artist and other creators for their literary and artistic creations.

2.What works are protected by Copyright?

Copyright protects expression of ideas manifested in the form of literary and artistic creations. The works protected or the subject matter of protection are; literary works, artistic works, musical works, dramatic works, cinematographic works and derivative works.
(For an exhaustive list of works protected by Copyright, please refer the Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001)

3.What is not protected by Copyright?

Copyright does not protect ideas, procedures, system, method of operation, concept, principle, discovery or mere data. Copyright doesn’t protect an idea in itself however the expression of the idea will be protected. (For instance, an idea expressed in the form of films, drawings, writings and etc will be protected).

4.What Rights are protected by Copyright?

Copyright protects two types of rights: Economic Rights and Moral Rights.

5.What is Economic rights?

Economic rights allows and provides an opportunity for the rights owner to derive financial rewards from the use of his/her work by others. Under the economic rights, the rights owner can authorize or prohibit:

  • reproduction of the work;
  • making of derivative work;
  • communication to the public;
  • public performance of the work;
  • broadcasting of the work;

(For detail, please refer the Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001)

6.What is Moral rights?

Moral rights allow authors and creators to take certain actions to preserve and protect their link with their work. Which means, the author of a work have the right:

  • to claim authorship of his work;
  • to object to any distortion or modification or other derogatory action in relation to his work which would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.

 (For detail, please refer the Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001)

7.What are the benefits of protecting Copyright and Related rights?

Copyright and Related Rights protection is an essential component in fostering human creativity and innovation. Giving authors, artists and creators incentives in the form of recognition and fair economic reward increases their activity and output and can also enhance the results. By ensuring the existence and enforceability of rights, individuals and companies can more easily invest in the creation, development and global dissemination of their works. This, in turn, helps to increase access to and enhance the enjoyment of culture, knowledge and entertainment the world over, and also stimulates economic and social development.

8.How to obtain Copyright protection?

Copyright protection is obtained automatically without the need for registration or other formalities. Nonetheless, authors/owners can register their works on a voluntary basis

9.How long does Copyright protection last?

The duration of protection of economic and moral rights are as follows:

  • For authors and creators is life plus fifty years after his death.
  • For joint authorship is life of the last surviving author and for fifty years after his death.
  • For a collective work, other than a work of applied art, and in the case of an audiovisual work is for fifty years from the date on which the work was first published.
  • For work published anonymously or under a pseudonym is for fifty years from the date on which the work was first published.
  • For work of applied art is for twenty-five years from the making of the work.

10.What happens to the works after the expiry of the term of protection?

After the term of protection expires, a work enters into the public domain whereby it will have no owner. The works in the public domain can be freely used without authorization.

11.What is Related Rights?

Related Rights are set of rights that protect the legal interest of certain individuals and groups who contributes in making the work available to the public. Related Rights is also known as neighboring rights.

The three beneficiaries of Related Rights are; Performers, Producers of Phonograms/Sound recordings & Broadcasting Organizations.

12.What is the term of protection for Related Rights?

The duration of protection are as follows:

  • For performers is fifty (50) years following the year when the performance takes place.
  • For the producers of phonograms/sound recording is (50) years following the year of publication and/or fixation.
  • For the broadcasting organizations is (50) years following the year of when the broadcasting takes place.

13.What is the purpose of Voluntary Deposit & Registration system?

The purpose of the Voluntary Deposit and Registration system is to:

  • Provide copyright and related rights owners with a simple and effective means of establishing prima facie proof of authorship and/or ownership of their work,
  • Maintain database/repository of copyright and related rights information, and
  • Serve the public interest by providing statistical information on copyright and related rights works.

14.Where can I get application form?

The form can be availed by visiting the Department of Intellectual Property (DoIP) officeor it can also be downloaded along with the fee schedule from this (MoEA) website under Downloads.

15.How do I register my Copyright & Related Rights works?

Every application for registration of copyright and related rights works shall be made in accordance with Form CR1and submit in triplicate along with the prescribed fees. In addition, two original copies of a work need to be deposited.

16.How long does the registration process take?

Registration will take a maximum of 45 days if there is no opposition/objection to the application. It may take longer in the event there are oppositions/objections.

17.What are the copyright& Related Rights owner’s responsibilities?

The prime responsibility of protecting the copyright & Related Rights lies with the rights owners themselves, as they are the direct loser due to copyright piracy or infringement.  Therefore, the rightsowners should take proper and adequate precaution to protect copyright works. The owners have to take legal action on their own if they believe their rights have been infringed. The registration of their works with the Intellectual Property Office shall not guarantee their claim of ownership; the Court will eventually decide the rightful ownership.

18.What is Infringement?

Infringement happens when Copyright & Related Rights work is used/obtained without seeking permission/authorization from the Author/Owner of the work.

For instance, following acts may be considered infringements: Activities such as reproduction, communication to public, broadcasting, making derivative works and etc. of the works without permission/authorization of the author/owner.

19.How to avoid infringement?

You should always contact and get permission/authorization from the author/owner before using any Copyright & Related Rights works.

20.What are the penalties for infringement of Copyright & Related Rights?

If a Copyright & Related Rights is infringed, the author/owner can take enforcement measures against the infringer. The infringement of Copyright & Related Rights is subject to criminal sanctions and civil remedies.(For detail, please refer Part IV under the Copyright Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001).

DoIP FAQs (Industrial Design)

Disclaimer

The answers given below to the probable questions are for the purpose of guiding public which cannot be quoted in any legal proceedings and will have no legal purpose. The users are advised to refer the provisions of the Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001 and The Industrial Property Rules, 2001.

1.What is an industrial design?

An industrial design is the overall appearance and visual features of a product. The design may consist of three-dimensional features such as the shape and configuration of an article, or two-dimensional features, such as pattern and ornamentation. The design features must be applied to an article by any industrial process or means of which the features in the finished article appeal to eye.

2.Must I register my industrial design in order to be protected?

Yes. There is no protection without registration.

3.What rights does a registered industrial design confer?

When an industrial design is registered, the holder receives the right to prevent unauthorized copying or imitation by third parties. This includes the right to prevent all unauthorized parties from making, selling or importing any product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied. Other users should obtain the consent of the rightful owner before using the design. The owner of a registered design has the right to take legal action against an infringer. Because industrial design rights are territorial in nature, this right is limited to the territory for which the design is registered.

4.What constitutes a registerable industrial design?

In order for an industrial design to be protected, the industrial design must be NEW. The newness of a design is determined by whether it has been publicly used in Bhutan or published both nationally and internationally. The newness of an industrial design is based on whether the industrial design is similar in appearance to any other industrial designs that currently exist within the public domain, not just on the Bhutanese Designs Database.

5.What cannot be protected by industrial design?

The following cannot be protected:-

Industrial designs that do not meet the requirements of novelty:

  • Industrial designs that are considered to be dictated exclusively by the technical function of a product; such technical or functional design features may be protected, depending on the facts of each case, by other IP rights (e.g. patents, utility models or trade secrets);
  • Industrial designs incorporating protected official symbols or emblems (such as the national flag);

Industrial designs which are considered to be contrary to public order or morality.

6.What is the Locarno Classification (LOC)?

It is an international classification system used to classify goods for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs. For details please visit the below website:

http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nivilo/locarno/index.htm?lang=EN

7.Why protect industrial designs?

Industrial design makes a product attractive and appealing; hence, they add to the commercial value of a product and increase its marketability.

When an industrial design is protected, this helps to ensure a fair return on investment. An effective system of protection also benefits consumers and the public at large, by promoting fair competition and honest trade practices.

Protecting industrial designs helps economic development, by encouraging creativity in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and contributes to the expansion of commercial activities and the export of national products.

8.How long does registration last?

Once an industrial design is registered, the term of protection is five years, and is renewable for a further two consecutive terms of 5 years. The total duration of protection is 15 years.

9.When is the best time to file an industrial design application?

As claims are based on a “first-to-file” rule basis, filing of an industrial design should be made at the earliest possible time or before an article is disclosed to the public or as close to the date of creation of your design as possible. This also means that you cannot sell, advertise or publicize your design in any form prior to filing your application. Prior disclosure will destroy the novelty of the design.

10.If I register my industrial design in Bhutan, am I protected in other countries?

An industrial design registered in Bhutan is only protected in Bhutan. Protection in other countries can be obtained by filling application in each country separately. However, to protect your novelty and if you wish to protect in many countries, applications for registration will have to be filed within six month from the earliest date when it was first filed in any of the Paris Convention member countries. Bhutan is a member to Paris Convention since 2000.

11.How soon can one manufacture and sell articles made to design?

Any time after the application has been filed. Applicants wishing to exploit the design in foreign markets may well wish to obtain corresponding protection abroad.

12.Are registered industrial designs made public?

Registered industrial designs are open to public inspection which is published in the Official Bulletin. This Official Bulletin can be accessed through our website and also through Ministry of Economic Affair’s website (www.moea.gov.bt). On a periodical basis we also announce in the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS) and print media.

13.Who can apply for design registration?

Only the owner of an industrial design may apply to register the industrial design, though an agent can be authorized to make application. Where an applicant’s ordinary residence or principal place of business is outside Bhutan, the applicant must appoint a Registered Agent with the Intellectual Property Division.

14.If I see a good industrial design outside Bhutan and it does not appear to be on the market in Bhutan, can I register that industrial design under my name here?

No, only the proprietor of the industrial design may apply. You could apply for the industrial design of this kind in Bhutan if you have acquired ownership through license or assignment.

15.How to file an application for the registration of an industrial design?

Filing an application to register an industrial design requires:-

  1. A completed application form (Form – ID1) in English;
    • One copy of representation of the article to which the design is applied (drawings or photograph);
    • A statement of novelty in respect of the industrial designs to which the design is applied; and
  2. Payment, in full, of the appropriate filing fee.

16.Where to lodge your application?

All application for the registration of industrial design must be lodge at the Intellectual Property Division.

Registry of Industrial Designs
Department of Intellectual Property
Ministry of Economic Affairs
Thimphu

17.Would the Intellectual Property Division stop someone else from infringing my industrial design?

No. This responsibility rests with the owner of the industrial design. You must start any legal action at the earliest possible of the alleged offence.

18.How can you enforce your rights when your industrial design is being infringed?

In case of infringement, the holder of industrial design rights could, firstly, decide to send a “cease or desist letter” to the alleged infringer, informing him of a possible conflict between his industrial design rights and the alleged infringing product and asking him to cease said infringement. If the infringement persists, the holder of the industrial design rights could decide to take all appropriate legal measures against the infringer, as provided for by the applicable law.

DoIP FAQs (Patent)

Disclaimer: The answers given below to the probable questions are for the purpose of guiding public which cannot be quoted in any legal proceedings and will have no legal purpose. The users are advised to refer the provisions of the Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001 and The Industrial Property Rules, 2001.

1.What is a Patent?

A Patent is an Industrial Property title granted to protect an invention. The Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001 states “Invention” as an idea of an inventor which permits in practice the solution to a specific problem in the field of technology. An invention may be, or may relate to, a product or a process.

2.What does a Patent do?

A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years upon payment of annual maintenance fees.

3.Why are Patents necessary?

Patents provide incentives to individuals by offering them recognition for their creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which assures that the quality of human life is continuously enhanced.

4.Who can apply for a Patent?

Anyone who has a new invention can apply for a patent in their national Intellectual Property Office.

5.Is patent application mandatory?

In order to have patent protection, you must apply for and receive a patent. Since patent laws are national, you must obtain patent protection in each country in which you want protection.

6.What kind of invention is patentable?

As per Industrial Property Act of Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001, an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

An invention is new if it not anticipated by prior art. Prior art shall consist of everything disclosed to the public, anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form or by oral disclosure, by use or in any other way, prior to the filing or, where appropriate, the priority date, of the application claiming the invention.

An invention shall be considered as involving as an inventive step if, having regard to the prior art relevant to the application claiming the invention, it would not have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art.

An invention shall be considered industrially applicable if it can be made or used in any kind of industry. Industry shall cover, in particular, handicraft, agriculture, fishery and services.

7.What are excluded from patent protection?

The following are excluded from patent protection:

  1. Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
  2. Schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games;
  3. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body; this shall not apply to products for use in any of those methods.

8.My invention was featured in the media and was also published in a scientific journal. Can I still apply for a patent?

Public disclosure of your invention may destroy the novelty of your invention. However, the disclosure to the public of your invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred within months preceding the filing date or, where applicable, the priority dates of your application.

9.My invention was displayed in an exhibition. Can I still apply for a Patent for the same invention?

If the invention was displayed in an exhibition, the disclosure will be disregarded if  you:

  • State, on filing the patent application, that the invention has been so displayed,
  • Furnish with the application or one month of filing the application, full particulars of disclosure; where the disclosure was made at an exhibition,
  • File within the same period, a duly authenticated certificate issued by the authority responsible for the exhibition containing particulars of the exhibition and stating that the invention was in fact exhibited there.

10.How do I apply for a patent in Bhutan?

Before you apply, consult the “Office Practice and Procedure Manual for Patent Registration System, 2012” which has been uploaded on the office website (www.moea.gov.bt) for insight into the process.

Once you are ready, you can apply for your patent in Bhutan by submitting a patent application (in three copies) with the appropriate fee to:

The Registrar of Patents
Patent Registry
Department of Intellectual Property
Ministry of Economic Affairs
Thimphu, Bhutan

11.Can a non-resident applicant file a patent application in Bhutan?

Yes, a non-resident can file a patent application in Bhutan but he/she should be represented by a Patent agent.

12.What if the applicant is not the inventor?

When the applicant is not the inventor, the request shall be accompanied by a statement justifying the applicant’s right to the patent. If the applicant is represented by an agent, the request shall indicate and state the agent’s name and address.

13.Is there any difference in the amount of fees to be paid by an individual or a legal entity for filing a patent application?

Yes, the application filing fees for an individual person (natural person) is Nu.1, 000/- and for a legal entity other than individual is Nu.4, 000/- up to 10 claims and 30 pages. However, in case, the number of pages exceed beyond 30, then natural person has to pay Nu.100/- for each additional page and a legal entity has to pay Nu.400/- per page.  Similarly if the number of claims exceed beyond 10, then natural person has to pay Nu.200/- for each additional claim and a legal entity has to pay Nu.800/- for each additional claim.

14.What is included in a complete patent application?

A complete application includes:

  • A Request (Form No. PT 1) in three copies;
  • A description;
  • Claim or claims to the invention;
  • Any drawings mentioned in the description; and
  • Abstract of the invention.

15.What is the time frame to complete an application?

In all cases of incomplete applications, the office will make every effort to inform the applicant for non-compliance by means of a notification letter specifying the required corrections. The corrections should be submitted within two months from the date of the notification.

16.Is it possible to extend time for the submission of corrections?

Yes. An applicant can request for the extension of time on Form No. PT 11 along with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees, before the expiry of the required time limit.

17.What are the consequences of not submitting the required corrections within the given timeframe?

If the corrections are not submitted within the given timeframe, the patent application will be deemed as not filed or rejected. In case an extension of time is requested and the applicant fails to submit the required correction within that timeframe, the application will be deemed as not filed or rejected.

18.Can I have more than one invention in a patent application?

No, you can have only one invention in a patent application.

19.What is a divisional application?

Where an original patent application describes and claims more than one invention, the applicant must limit the claims to one invention only and any other invention described may be made the subject of a separate divisional application.

20.Will a divisional application have a new filing date?

Divisional applications will retain the filing date of the original applications and must be filed before the issue of a patent on the original application.

21.What is a priority claim?

Bhutan, like many countries, allows priority claims to be made in a patent application. If an applicant has an application filed earlier in a Paris Convention country (other than Bhutan), he may claim priority from this first-filed application, provided he files in Bhutan within 12 months from the date of the first filing. Similarly, an application which is first filed in Bhutan can be used to claim priority in a corresponding application filed in a Paris Convention country, provided that the corresponding application is filed within 12 months from the date of filing in Bhutan.

22.What information must be provided in order to request priority?

A request for priority can be made in the request form, Form No. PT 1. You must provide the following information related to each priority document:

  • application number,
  • the filing date,
  • filing office,
  • the country of filing,
  • status of the application and
  • the International Patent Classification.

23.What happens to my patent application after it has been filed?

The office will carry out a formality examination of your application and accord a filing date. A Substantive Search and Examination to assess the novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability of your patent application will be carried out. If your invention fulfills all these criteria for patentability, a Patent will be granted to your invention and published in our official gazette.

24.Can I withdraw my application after filing?

You can withdraw your application anytime during its pendency by submitting the request in writing.

25.How long does it take to grant a Patent?

The Registrar will, whenever possible, reach a final decision on the application not later than two years after the commencement of the Substantive Search and Examination.

26.What are the rights conferred by a Patent?

The exploitation of the patented invention in Bhutan by persons other than the owner of the patent shall require the latter’s agreement.

Exploitation of a patented invention means any of the following acts:

  1. when the patent has been granted in respect of a product:
    • making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing for these purposes that product;
    • stocking such product for the purposes of offering for sale, selling or using;
  2. when the patent has been granted in respect of a process:
    • using the process;
    • doing any of the acts referred to in paragraph (a) in respect of a product obtained directly by means of the process.

27.Are there any limitations to the rights conferred by a patent?

Yes. The rights under the patent shall not extend:

  1. To acts in respect of articles which have been put on the market in Bhutan by the owner of the patent or with his consent; or
  2. To the use of articles on aircraft, land vehicles or vessels of other countries which temporarily or accidentally enter the airspace, territory or waters of Bhutan; or
  3. To acts done only for experimental purposes relating to a patented invention; or
  4. To acts performed by any person who in good faith, before the filing or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the application on which the patent is granted, was using the invention or was making effective and serious preparations for such use in Bhutan.

28.Who has the right to a Patent?

The right to a Patent shall belong to the inventor.

29.Who has the right to the Patent if two or more persons have jointly made an invention?

If two or more persons have jointly made an invention, the right to the patent shall belong to them jointly.

30.Who has the right to a patent when an invention is made in execution of an employment contract?

When an invention is made in execution of an employment contract, the right to the patent shall belong, in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, to the employer.

31.When does a patent expire?

A patent will expire twenty years from the filing date of the application for the patent.

32.What should I do in order to maintain my Patent?

In order to maintain Patent, an annual fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees shall be paid in advance to the Registrar for each year, starting one year after the filing date of the application.

33.Will my Patent lapse if I am not able to pay the maintenance fee before the deadline?

A period of grace of six months will be allowed for the late payment of the annual fee on payment of the prescribed surcharge. You patent application will be deemed to have been withdrawn or your patent shall lapse if you do not pay the maintenance fee before the deadline of this grace period.

34.Can I sell my Patent rights to someone else?

Yes. As with other forms of Intellectual Property, a Patent is a right that can be sold. The transfer of ownership or sale of a Patent by a written agreement is called an assignment.

An application to register such transactions with the Registry of Patent shall be made on Form No. PT-9 with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees.

35.What is licensing in the context of Patent?

A license is consent by the owner (Licensor) to the use of Patent by other party (Licensee) in exchange for money. Patent or a Patent application is the subject matter of the licensing agreement.

36.How do I apply to invalidate a patent?

Any person may apply to invalidate a Patent for an invention on any of the grounds set out in Section 16 of the Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001. The request shall be made to the Registrar on Form No. PT 7 along with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees.